America is sugar and spice but not everything nice

This is a super quick post on my thoughts on what is going on in USA.

First of all DOMA was deemed unconstitutional. This means same sex couples have the right to get married just like straight couples. YAY! This news was such a sweet surprise.

Then. I heard that Governor Rick Perry decided to call second special session to pass one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Texas. This especially sucks because the awesome Senator Wendy Davis just defeated it last night. This seriously caused me heartburn. Not kidding. Why you gotta pee on my parade Texas?

 

Why do Republicans hate women so much?

So it seems like GOP didn’t learn any lessons from the last Presidential election.  A large number of women came out to vote against them after some of their members made comments like “legitimate rape.” They are still trying to pass legislation that will curtail a woman’s right to get an abortion. Now, I am a firm believer that sex education helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and actually reduces the probability of women needing an abortion. I would also add that I cannot see myself ever getting an abortion but that’s my personal feeling on the subject. I have no right to impose my beliefs on another woman’s body. So an idiotic politician named Michael Burgess opposes abortion because he has seen male fetuses masturbate. Yup, you read that right! In this day and age, people still believe a male fetus should have more rights than an adult woman.

So George Orwell was right?

By now you have all heard about PRISM. Basically all the Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc collaborated with the government by providing all the data to NSA. Yup, the American government has access to all your information. Now, I don’t think the government’s intention was bad and they probably are trying to save you from the next terrorist threat. But good intentions can have bad consequences. I think this “collaboration” is illegal and breaks the 4th Amendment. Now I know all these companies were accessing our information so they could sell us stuff. I am worried that people don’t take their privacy seriously. I told my dad about this and his response was, “the Government’s just trying to help us”. Yes, they probably are just trying to help us.  However,  they are already a powerful entity and do not need more power.

Praying for Oklahoma

Oklahoma and other American states were hit by Tornadoes. The devastation there is really quite something. I couldn’t look at the pictures on various news site. Many people died in the aftermath including children. Praying for the families living there. I am posting a link to Oklahoma’s Department of Emergency. Stay safe!

Dear Americans, I do not understand your obsession with guns?

I do not understand America’s gun culture in the 21st century. I do not understand why individuals need guns to protect themselves in the present day. There is no reason to worry as you have law enforcement officers. It is not like America is an anarchist state and people need guns to survive. Institutions work fine in America. Sure, there is some corruption but not to the extent it cripples their ability to perform given tasks. You have had tragedies after tragedies and people advocating gun control. Yet some people in America act like if the the government passes such bills, it is stealing their right to breathe air. Plenty of other countries have stringent gun laws and are much safer than America. So, why do you want guns so badly? I am all for you firing guns at a shooting range because you find it fun. Why do you need it in your homes? Some deranged individual opened fire at Mother’s Day Parade in New Orleans yesterday but people still do not want to take any actions to solve this problem. I do not think Americans will ever ban guns but at least pass stringent background checks on individuals obtaining firearms. Do something at least?

Nerdy Sundays: Pew Survey Edition

Do you think you know more about Science and Technology than average Americans? Do you care to find out? Then take this quiz at Pew Research Center. It is a quick, short quiz. After taking the quiz, tell me about your results. Be honest. I got 12 out of 13. Not happy. The questions are very easy, so do not be worried. I think your results will be better then mine. I know all my readers to be very smart because I read your blogs and you all write thoughtful, interesting posts.  Anyway, I am a Canadian who is smarter then average Americans even though I totally messed up one of my answers. If you want to remain anonymous, just send me an e-mail. There is no naming and shaming in this blog.

BTW, if you cooperate and comment, it might lead to a more serious discussion about education in US and Canada.

Looking forward to your results.

The curious case of Boston Bombing Suspects

If you are reading this, you already know that the two suspects were identified as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. One of the suspects is dead after a shootout where he killed an MIT police officer. The other is on run, armed and dangerous.

They both hail from Chechnya which has a long, turbulent political history. When the FBI released the pictures of suspect, the most uncouth behaviour by commentators started. Some of the people on the political left hoped they were white. Some on the right hoped they were brown and Muslim. They turned out to be white and Muslim. Yes, Chechens are white according to U.S census. While the FBI and the Boston police were investigating and doing their job catching these perpetrators, media decided to speculate and mess up people’s lives. Hence, a Bangladeshi man was attacked by a bunch of racist dudes because you know he was brown and Muslim. Sunil Tripathi and Mike Mulugeta were misidentified as  suspects by redditors because police chatter is so conclusive? It is not. We still don’t know if Sunil is alive or not. He went missing before the bombings and his family was trying to search for him.

This is why normal citizens who are not part of law enforcement should lay off speculating. You are not a detective; you do not have the training or the skills. If you think someone is a suspect, contact the police. They follow up the tips to see if it is legit or not. Media is culpable by not vetting their sources and just making up a bunch of theories.

Hope all the people who were misidentified sue the hell out of media companies. Hope Sunil’s parents find out his whereabouts. Hope the second suspect is caught without bloodshed. We don’t need more by-standers and brave police officers losing their lives.

Update: Dzhokar Tsarnev is caught alive. Bravo to the law enforcement in United States. Their competence and professionalism more then made up for the kerfuffle caused by the media.

Selena Gomez, Bindi and Cultural appropriation

So, Selena Gomez wore a bindi during her MTV Awards performance. A Hindu group in America released this statement:

The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance,” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed told WENN (via MSN). “It is also sometimes referred to as the third eye and the flame, and it is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol … It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed.”

I don’t know. They are right that she is culturally appropriating bindi. A pop star wears a bindi and it becomes a fashion statement. But when my mom who is Hindu wears a bindi, it becomes something alien and strange. Suddenly it is that strange Indian lady with a weird red dot. Look at her not trying to assimilate to Canadian culture. On the other hand, it is just a bindi. I don’t get annoyed when people wear henna even though it is culturally important to south Asians. I guess it all comes down to respect. Try not to make other people’s religious and cultural clothing into an exotic, alien, fetishized thing. Try not to dress as an “Indian” during Halloween. Our clothing is not a costume. I don’t wear t-shirt and jeans as “costume.” If you realize that, I am happy if you spot a bindi on your forehead or Indian bangles on your wrist.

Revelling in other’s misfortunes is just bad taste

Yesterday in the city of Boston, a terrorist attack happened. Innocent people lost their lives and many were injured. Of course, countless marathoners, passers-by, first responders helped the injured. They were brave, kind and showed the true Boston spirit. Today, there is news that Iran was hit by a strong earthquake. The comment section on the news site is filled with hate and vitriol. I do not know how people can celebrate when a region is hit by a natural calamity. Yes, Iran is seen as a threat by Western countries but people forget that the biggest victims of the regime are the Iranians themselves. As for the Boston attack, we do not know who the culprit is. Until the person(s) behind it are caught, can we stop speculating?

Boston Marathon Explosion: Praying for Boston

Update: 3 people have died and at least 130 people have been injured. Kudos to the first responders who are working diligently.  My prayers and thoughts for the families who lost their loved ones.

 

So, there have been two explosions at Boston Marathon today. 2 people lost their lives and 23 are injured. Since it is a still developing story, I will refrain from speculating.  Everyone just stay safe. Praying for the people of Boston! Hope they catch the perpetrator fast. Here is a link to Huffpost.